Bronte’s tale

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

You give the strength to me
A strength I never had
I was a mess you see
I’d lost the plot so bad
You drag me up and out
Of the darkest place
There’s not a single doubt
When I can see your face

– Give me Strength, Snow Patrol

Let me tell you the story of a young girl called Bronte. A very brave young girl called Bronte…

I first wrote about her on this Blog nearly four years ago.  Bronte is the daughter of Paul Hogan, owner of PPS Publications, which produces the Cannes and Singapore show daily newspapers as well as a range of publications for Airports Council International.

Bronte was struck down with leukaemia in September 2006 when just eight years old. Paul, besides being a great Dad, channelled his supportive efforts into raising money for a wonderful cause called Children with Leukaemia, raising US$35,000 by running the London Marathon in 2007.

A year on, Paul (pictured below) ran the event again, once more in support of the same cause (raising a further US$16,000). That time it took on added urgency and poignancy, as Bronte (by then 9) was taken seriously ill again, undergoing intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy and then having a bone marrow transplant at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital (the same excellent hospital that has been treating me for my cancer).


Bronte came through both those mighty challenges and has been able to return to normality in recent times.

Sadly, however, she had a relapse this December. Bronte (now 12) and her parents have been back living in the Marsden for over a month where she’s already been through one round of chemotherapy and is set for another this month. Then she will have another bone marrow transplant at the end of April – around the same time as the London Marathon, in which Paul will compete once again to raise money.

I don’t know Bronte but I feel that I do. News of her relapse reached me just after I finished my own latest round of chemotherapy. My heart sank. I know what this young girl faces. I know how tough it is on her and her loved ones. I want to ask all the people in this industry from all faiths who prayed for me in recent months to pray even more powerfully for a brave, beautiful young girl called Bronte.

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  • Every time the wind blows I hear your favourite song
    echoing in the midst of time,
    Not here where you belong
    Every time the sea crashes onto the broken shore
    I know that deep down,
    I start to miss you more
    Time may go on, but you’re still here
    the shadows behind the willow trees
    Remind me that you’re near.

  • I agree with Miles, Brontë was a brave girl and at our school every year at the end of March we are having a fluorescent Friday because she loved neon things and wherever she went she would always want to look good. It made us all laugh and we will never ever ever forget her.
    Thank you Brontë for being a great friend.
    R.I.P Bron 

  • This year on 31st march Bronte died but i think she will be happier because she is out of pain. I knew Bronte and we were like sisters.

  • HI Martin, the teaching hospitals and many others will be well aware of stem cell research, and I know these biotech advances are now recognised with governments in the UAE Asia etc all taking an active interest in the potential for children like Bronte and hopefully some day for us all! I’ve been hearing quite a bit on developments in this field from my brother who is involved in the UK system.

    May I suggest if anyone is considering having a child,or knows anyone who is, they consider looking into the regional and international facilities already on offer for expectant mothers, as the procedure is highly efficient and may also assist elder siblings and other members of the family.

    As science rushes to explore the uses of the stem cells with common problems like diabetes etc, perhaps this is an insurance that may well become more common knowledge.I know it’s not really having the publicity it may deserve, possibly because it is so “new” to us all. Medicine is already using technology and advances inconceivable 5/10 years ago and there is amazing data now being generated at London hospitals with this advance.

    I sincerely wish Bronte all success and her family the strength to cope till she gets better.She’s in amazing hands with this hospital. For everyone out there, including many expectant grandparents, go online and read about stem cell banks, it’s worth at least a look, as it becomes more readily available.